Avoid Common Dipping Powder Issues With These Troubleshooting Tips

Durable, long-lasting dip enhancements are ideal for on-the-go clients, especially during the hustle of the holiday season. What happens when something goes wrong? “Dipping powder provides beautiful results and is currently in high demand, but it can be a mess if done incorrectly,” says Marilyn Garcia, Cuccio global director of education and brand ambassador. Garcia walks us through the solutions to three of the most common dipping-powder problems: cracking, expanding, and lifting.


Read More: how to fix lifting dip nails

The Problem: Lifting

Lifting occurs when dipping powder doesn’t properly adhere to the nail. The prepping stage is crucial for all kinds of enhancements. For proper adhesion, the nail plates must be free of moisture and debris.

The Solution

Take extra time with your prep steps if you find that clients’ dip nails are lifting. You can use a good cuticle removal product to remove any remaining skin from the nail plates. “I like to use a 180-grit file to lightly buff the surface of the nail; it gives just the right texture to the nail surface to promote adhesion,” says Garcia. Apply the base coat and a primer to dry the nails.

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The Problem: Cracking

Vertical cracking occurs when the product is applied unevenly between layers and coats. The angle in which the brush is held plays a critical role: “If the brush is tilted upright and perpendicular to the nail, product builds unevenly and creates hills and ridges, which can lead to cracking,” says Garcia. The same applies to dipping your finger in the powder at 90° (i.e. straight up and down).

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The Solution

To ensure even application, hold the brush parallel to the nail, moving it from the cuticle to the free edge in long strokes. To ensure a smooth powder finish, guide your nail at a 45 degree angle into the powder.

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The Problem: Expanding

Maintaining color within the boundaries of the nail can be difficult—even when using thin coats and layers of product. “Dipping powder absorbs product quickly and tends to spread over sidewalls and cuticles if it isn’t properly applied,” says Garcia.

The Solution

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Apply adhesive on three-quarters of the nail, leaving a small margin below the cuticle. Dip the finger at a 45-degree angle in the first coat. Tap off any excess. Apply a second coat, leaving only a little space below the cuticle. You can continue the dipping process. Working in small increments—even dipping up to three times—getting closer to the cuticle as you apply will help avoid flooding the cuticle and side walls with color.


Glitter Wars

Working with glitter can be tricky no matter what the medium, and glitter dip is no different. “Glitter dipping powder is coarser and contains larger particles than basic color powders, so it tends to get bulky with each coat,” says Marilyn Garcia. Apply the second coat of glitter dip to the nails. Then apply a third coat with adhesive. Use clear dipping powder on the remaining nail to wrap the glitter particles. Garcia teaches this process with the mantra, “Glitter, glitter, clear!”

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Practice Your Dipping Powder Techniques with These Must-Have Products


1. OPI Edge 180 grit File REVEL NAIL Dip Powder D123 Playful 3. CUCCIO PRO Powder Dip Polish Deep Silver Glitter 4. SNS Gelous Color 319 5. CND CuticleAway

-by Angelina Lewis

[Images: Courtesy of Armando Sanchez and Brooks Ayola]

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